A token of Ratnagiri's rich culture and history, the Mahipatgad Fort today stands atop the convoluting ranges of the Western Ghats as a time-worn fortress, exuding an old-world charm. An intimidating yet magnificent structure, it towers as an adventurous hike- elevated over 3000 feet in the vicinity of Khed city. So if you're done with traversing through Mumbai's concrete course, pack your trekking gear and embark on an expedition to unravel the striking beauty of the Mahipatgad Fort, away from the city chaos.
Scale new heights to unravel a golden horizon!
Jutting out at the northernmost end of the 8 km stretch that also houses Sumargad and Rasalgad forts, Mahipatgad Fort narrates a significant chapter of history, seated amid a mesmerising view of dense forest and sprawling skies. Expanding over 120 acres of land, it is tagged as one of the biggest forts in Maharashtra. Founded by the rulers of the Adil Shah Dynasty in the 15th century, it is one of the oldest yet most striking features crowning the Sahyadri range.
It takes approximately 3 hours from the base of the Bedarwadi village to climb to the summit point. All basic provisions such as accommodation and water are available here and trekkers need not carry the extra weight of water bottles as they scale to the highest point. About 20-30 people can rest at the Pareshwar temple here, so get your gang ready to begin the trek!
A trek through the diverse history of the Mahipatgad Fort
This trek is mostly taken up by adventure seekers who yearn for an adrenaline-powered thrill, to capture the panoramic view of this site and picture-perfect scape. This giant complex also holds temples, two large wells, unused mortars, remnants of horse stables and ruins of palaces - beckoning all those history connoisseurs to its doorstep to delve deeper into the pits of the past and excavate stories of the undiscovered.
Of all that stands here, Mahipatgad Fort has six iconic gateways which now stand dilapidated yet are a sight for the sore eyes. Rooted in its tableland, these 6 doorways are popularised as Kotval Gate on the north, Laldevdi on the north-eastern side, Pusati on the eastern side, Yeshwant on the south-eastern side, Khed Gate down south and Shiv Ganga Gate, on the western side of the chamber.
Each gate held its own strategic regard and served a specific purpose to the military stationed here. But those are not the only highlight. One might even chance upon the several Christian tombs that stand here, an evidence of the Christian inhabitation in the area, dated as recent as the 1960s.
Well, you are in luck, for the Mahipatgad Fort is open to the public all round the year and is well-connected by both roads and rails shuttling between Mumbai and Khed. From this point on, travellers can board buses that go to Jethapurwadi and then embark on a short route to go to Beldarwadi, the base village of the trek.
So what are you doing here? Go hatch that plan with your friends and get away from Mumbai to unlock a new adventure!